3-Judges On Appeals Court Reinstate Guilty Verdict For Michael Flynn’s Corrupt Business Partner

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We have just begun to peel back the skin exposing the pulp of corruption, graft, and crime living in the previous White House administration. Take the former Attorney General (AG) William Barr who without hesitation said yes when asked whether China had interfered in the presidential election. And no, it was definitely not Russia, another big lie, allegedly. It gets worse.

We recall that famous photo of Donald Trump’s short-lived National Security Adviser (NSA) Michael Flynn sitting at a banquet table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But there is a familiar woman sitting there, too – in 2015. Green Party Jill Stein took enough votes away from Secretary Hillary Clinton to throw the race to Trump.

 

Screen-Shot-2021-03-18-at-3.10.43-PM-1 3-Judges On Appeals Court Reinstate Guilty Verdict For Michael Flynn's Corrupt Business Partner Corruption Donald Trump Featured Politics Top Stories
Image: Screenshot via YouTube.

 

AG Barr ordered a surprise internal review of Flynn’s investigation and prosecution. But no surprise at his results, “deeply flawed,” and he moved to drop the case. Then, 45 pardoned Flynn before the judge could rule.

That left Flynn’s partner, the Trump transition adviser Bijan Rafiekia responsible for the Flynn Intel Group consulting and unregistered lobbying in Turkey during the Trump 2016 campaign. Their project was to discredit an exiled cleric, Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in the U.S. and promote the long anti-Turkey government candidate, Fethullah Gulen, ABC News reported.

A jury found Rafiekian guilty, but the judge threw out their guilty verdict last year.

In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia reinstated the jury’s guilty verdict for Rafiekian. They concluded U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga should not have done so.

The 4th Circuit Judge James Wynn wrote the 40-page opinion indicating jurors could convict Rafiekian “based on circumstantial evidence and inferences,” according to The POLITICO:

‘We are convinced that the jury heard sufficient evidence that Rafiekian acted as ‘an agent of a foreign government. Based on the evidence presented, a rational juror could conclude…that the Turkish government was, in fact, behind the project; that, through Alptekin, Turkey communicated both general and specific instructions.’

 

‘that Rafiekian hewed to those directions over the life of the engagement—all without notifying the Attorney General.’

The 4th Circuit opinion essentially concluded that Wynn stopped short in his opinion of declaring that Flynn had engaged in criminal activity in connection with the work:

‘We refrain from drawing conclusions with respect to Flynn’s alleged participation.’

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Raj Parekh said in a written statement:

‘We are pleased that the Fourth Circuit thoroughly reviewed the government’s case and found that the jury’s verdict was amply supported by the evidence.’

‘The Court’s careful legal analysis confirmed the broad scope and importance of the disclosure requirements for individuals acting within the United States at the direction of foreign governments. This case is a reminder to those who act covertly within our country on behalf of a foreign power that they face criminal consequences for their conduct.’

During the Turkey-related work, Flynn was a top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign. After the election, Rafiekian became an adviser to Trump’s transition team.

Soon after Rafiekian’s 2019 trial in Alexandria, VA:

‘Flynn changed his mind about testifying against Rafiekian.’

Judge Wynn wrote:

‘The line between an “agent’ who works under a foreign government’s “control” and one who, instead, agrees to operate subject to a more hands-off form of ‘direction’—as an agent–independent contractor could—might be a hazy one. Still, we find no reason to believe that Congress soug’ht to exclude the latter variety of agency from [Section] 951’s reach.’

‘Given the stiff penalties for a [Section] 951 violation, we decline to infer a congressional intention to depart from that foundation and impose the statute’s disclosure requirement on every wannabe emissary in the absence of explicit language to that effect.’

The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.